Happy Birthday Kermits

Posted in Muppets with tags , , , , , , on September 23, 2011 by Andrew T. Smith

September the 24th, 2011 marks what would have been the 75th birthday of the late Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets. Henson passed away in 1990 at the age of just 53 after ignoring flu-like symptoms and developing a form of bacterial pneumonia. If spending the better part of three months writing a book on Henson’s most famous creations has done nothing else, it has confirmed one thing I already knew; this should never have been allowed to happen. The word visionary barely manages to do justice to a man who single handedly brought puppetry into the modern age, who helped change the face of educational television, who predicted the rise of reality television, who envisioned a children’s series that would bring about world piece, and who did more in his fifty-odd years than most people could achieve in 200. The world is lesser place for his not being in it.

Jim with Kermit on The Tonight Show back in 1975.

What is often overlooked, however, is that September the 24th also marks the birthday of the second man to bring life to Kermit the Frog, Steve Whitmire. Whitmire was an experienced and versatile puppeteer when he took over the role in 1990 and since then has done an admirable job of keeping Kermit’s green spirit alive. Yes his voice is different, but his soul remains in tact. Nobody on the planet could do a better job.

Steve Whitmire performs Ernie in this behind-the-scenes peek at Sesame Street.

Announcing ‘Muppet Reasons’

Posted in Muppets, Sites of Interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by Andrew T. Smith

Yes, I’m announcing a new blog. This time on tumblr. Muppet Reasons is intended to provide the discerning puppet fanatic with a daily dose of Jim Henson’s fantastic creations. With a new movie on the horizon and a covers album currently going viral, I predict the next year to be the year of the Frog. To this extent my goal is to provide the world with 365 reasons to love the Muppets. It’s an easier task than you’d think and one which I hope will be made easier by the fact that readers can submit their own Muppety reasons via a submissions box.

More exciting than this, however, is the fact that this new blog is also intended to help generate interest in my NEW BOOK! Yes, some poor sap has agreed to publish my second tome and it is going to be a comprehensive guide to Kermit, Piggy and the gang. Entitled Frogs, Hogs, Weirdos and Whatnots, the book will be released in April 2012. If you like Muppets or have ever enjoyed something I have written, I’d be very greatful for pre-orders. The book may be a while from publication, but think of the pre-order as buying a present for your future self. Conquer time laws of time and space by ordering a copy of Frogs, Hogs, Weirdos and Whatnots today.

Sorry!

Posted in Sites of Interest, The B-Keeper with tags , , , , , , , on August 8, 2011 by Andrew T. Smith

I must apologise for the lack of updates to this site. I will try to fix that in the coming months as there have been some exciting developments on the book front. Until then, however, I hope you’ll enjoy a couple of videos I have produced for Tachyon-TV. The idea behind the Space Time Visualiser series is that the date than an article or video is posted relates in some way to the television programme being discussed. So far, I have produced two episodes of the series’ video incarnation alongside the incredibly talented Andrew Orton.

 

Are You Being Served, Sir? My Pussy Is Free.

Posted in Ramblings, Sites of Interest on May 5, 2011 by Andrew T. Smith

Another week, another article for the lovely chaps at Tachyon-TV.

Few of the characters in Are You Being Served? were actually related to one another, but literally everything we learned of their personal lives was offered to us through the context of their working lives. To the staff of Grace Brothers, their department was, at times, literally a second home. This may mainly be due to budget restrictions, but, despite existing for the most part within the confines of one floor of a department store, we see the Are You Being Served family go through an awful lot of identifiable family rituals; a youngster leaving the nest (Mr Lucas’ departure), the loss of an elderly member of the group (Mr Granger’s departure), divorce (Captain Peacock’s wife leaves him), a summer holiday (The Movie), and a slightly awkward family reunion (Grace and Favour) – all take place under the benevolent patriarchal eye of Harold Bennett’s ‘Young’ Mr Grace.

Click HERE for more.

From The Get-Go

Posted in Ramblings, Sites of Interest on April 22, 2011 by Andrew T. Smith

Hello all, I’m back with yet another short post to announce a new venture! This time, I’m happy to point you in the direction of From The Get-Go, “a new collaborative blog which delves into the world of pob culture via marathon viewing sessions and reviews. Each weekday, several writers with nothing better to do embark upon journeys through a menagerie of film and television series. In the age of multi-channel broadcasting, DVD distribution and digital downloads it is very easy to pick and choose what media we wish to be exposed to, but here at From The Get-Go, we find that the best way to get to grips with a series of any medium is to make your way through it from the very beginning through to the very end. In doing this you are forced to sit through the low-points as well as the high. Basically pure, sad, fan-boy commitment is the road to enlightenment.”

It’s Getting Eerie Around Here

Posted in Sites of Interest with tags , , , , , , on April 12, 2011 by Andrew T. Smith

Sorry for the lack of any new posts recently, I promise to clear out those cobwebs and oil that creaking door soon. The truth is I’ve been cheating on you with Tachyon TV. My latest offering for that illustrious site, a tribute to the fantastic and unduly neglected Eerie Indiana, can be found here.

Little Theatre

Posted in Ramblings, Sites of Interest with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2011 by Andrew T. Smith

For your viewing pleasure, a documentary I co-produced about four years ago.

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